I waste more time on YouTube than I’ll ever own up to, as is the case tonight, watching some of my favorite videos. Dirt Road, by long-time favorite Sawyer Brown, made this particular playlist. The message in the song is so true…that anything in life worth having is worth working for.
And it hit me that it is also true in relationships.
Watching my daughter with her first boyfriend, I just have to smile at her excitement over everything. To her, even the simplest, silliest things are cause for celebration, giggles and blushes. Trick-or-treating with a friend’s small child turned into a romantic couple of hours. Eating macaroni and cheese soup, a fun experience (even though she hates mac and cheese at home). When the recipe doesn’t come out exactly right, I guess it tastes better. Or maybe it was just the dinner companion.
But isn’t that how we all start out? Everything is new and thrilling. Something we might have considered boring before is suddenly exhilarating and awesome…simply because we’re sharing it with someone special.
Eventually, though, things settle down. We’re still happy with this person who makes us happy, but life has a way of toning everything down. Responsibilities, stress, bills, the day-to-day business of living. It all intrudes on the honeymoon period that most relationships are blessed with. It’s not a bad thing, I think it simply means that we get comfortable with one another, and that’s always good.
Well, maybe not always.
Through the years I think we can get too comfortable. So much so, in fact, that we forget about that excitement we discovered in the beginning. Life didn’t just make itself known, it plowed all the warm and fuzzy feelings right over, and we’re left with a stranger in place of our Prince, or Princess, Charming.
Some of us never leave the loop of our life, going round and round, because it’s what we’ve become used to. Yes it’s boring, mind numbingly so, but it’s familiar. We know what to expect…day after day after day after day. We’ve gotten so accustomed to this person we once loved with every cell of our being that they’re basically just part of the decor of our homes.
Others aren’t so comfortable with the way their relationships have gone, don’t see any way of turning things around…and make a quick detour to the freeway. Right straight to divorce court. Surely once they get rid of this anchor weighing them down, they can find the thrill again with someone new.
And still others tough it out on the bumpy, dusty dirt road. They feel like they’ve invested too much time to walk away from the relationship. To them, it’s worth the time and effort to find the magic again with this person they’ve been with for so long.
I think this song perfectly describes the way someone feels in the beginning of a relationship.
The question is, how do we know which road to take? I guess that depends on many things. Whether we feel it’s worth the hard work to search out that excitement again. What our religious beliefs are. How unhappy we truly feel. It also depends on the person who makes up the other half of the relationship because it does take two to tango.
I’d like to say that most of us do choose the dirt road but, with the divorce rates being what they are, the freeway seems to be the popular choice these days. I wonder if it’s a trend that will continue, or if it will ever turn back around.
Only time will tell.
***I wrote this particular blog the end of October and, before I could post it, my daughter and her boyfriend broke up. It doesn’t alter the fact that those feelings were real, or that her heart is currently broken, but it did give me a reason to write ‘Gonna Drown A Guy In My Septic Tank.’ In a book. In a book! Really. I’m going to make the ex a character in a book.
Such a wonderful message in this post. It’s so good to work for things worth fighting for. I love the songs too.
I read your comment on Debra Kristi’s blog. I’d love it if you’d like to join a blogfest I’m hosting:
Thanks, Elisa. It’s great to have a surprise once in awhile, but wonderful as they may be, you don’t get the feeling of accomplishment when you’ve achieved something by your own efforts. And that even applies to washing dishes, I’ve found. And that’s one thing I wouldn’t mind finding already done for me. 🙂
As to your blogfest, I think I’ve already joined it. I hope. I left my name and URL in the comments section. As I explained to Debra, it’s not exactly a tribute to my oldest daughter. It’s more what this first year has been like, how hard it’s been, and the things I have had to adjust to. There is a tribute at the end, but the majority of the blog is what it’s been like from a parent’s perspective. If that’s okay, then I’ll go with it. If not, I may be able to come up with something else. Although, frankly, I’d rather not. This one was hard enough to write. 🙂
Lovely post. And you are so right, Kristy. When your kids hurt with heart break, so do you. It’s very difficult to sit back and watch, be the listening ear and only offer advice when it’s asked for!
Thank, Lynette. I guess that’s just one of the perks of being a mom, hmm? Somehow I guess I thought, at some point, I might be able to stop worrying so much. LOL…now I realize that’s never going to happen. And that advice thing? Oh yeah! Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll have to reach up and pinch my lips together to keep from offering unwelcome words of wisdom! 🙂
Thanks, Debra. 🙂
Let’s hope your daughter is the one doing the heart breaking…hopefully your son, too. That way other parents will be the ones comforting their kids. Cause let me tell you, it’s not easy. Mom is not the one the child wants. And she is also the one to bear the brunt of the sadness and anger that child is feeling. I sure miss the baby and toddler days, when the worst things were to need a diaper change or help with tying shoes!
Thank you Kristy, for a thoughtful post. I agree with Edgar, relationships are about remembering. Learning and adjusting as we go.
I try to imagine, from time to time, what it will be like when my kids start dating and it’s hard. I know my heart will break for my son and I half expect my daughter to go out and be the one breaking hearts with her take charge attitude. But we will see.
First love. It makes me smile. And it ends so soon.
I’d like to think that most people are taking the dirt road, too…
It makes me smile, too. Until it ends. And then I start plotting to kill him off in a book.
Thanks for stopping by, Jenny. By the way, I still chuckle remembering your grandma and the 911 calls. And I have to say that your dad is pretty funny, too. 🙂
Very nice post. I’m touched by your personal experience as a parent of a daughter. I had two sons, so I can’t compare the camaraderie of the mother, daughter relationship.
But what I can relate to is taking the rocky road over the freeway in a relationship, a marriage. I think it’s sad that there are so many divorces. Keeping any relationship together is hard work.
I’m in it for the long haul. I’ve already spent years training this one and why would I want to start that all over again. LOL!
Too funny, Karen! Yes, if you have one trained, KEEP him! I think it’s harder training a man than it is a toddler or a puppy. That means it’s a lot more work…and you don’t get rid of kids or pets. 🙂
I’m not sure how old your sons are, but if they haven’t started dating yet, trust me, their broken hearts will break yours as much as it would if they were girls. It’s hard to see your child hurting. Makes you want to do some hurting back, lol. 🙂
Kristy, Sure enjoy your blogs, you are so talented and wise for your age. Thank you again! Have a good day!!!!
Thank you very much! I’m glad to hear that you’re reading the blogs, and enjoying them. Not so sure about the wise thing, but if you think so, who am I to argue? 🙂
Have a great day! And visit Michigan soon, okay? I’d really like to meet you. 🙂
Yes – we all definitely need that reminder to remember – not just those beginning honeymoon days but also all the (hopefully) good days you still experience. For me – I also have to remember the bumpy road that led me down the freeway many years ago – not all train wrecks are salvageable (for the better.) Because of that, I am a better,stronger person and thankful everyday for my life now and my amazing husband.
I’m sorry your daughter is still hurting 🙁 – can’t wait to read about your new character and his unfortunate demise with the septic tank!
It’s too bad the train wrecks happen, but when you’re involved in one, it’s best to get out as quickly as possible. I believe the only relationships that can be saved are the ones where the couple has just fallen into complacency. When they’ve gotten so involved in life that they’ve begun to take one another for granted. And even then, not always.
LOL…I can’t put two coherent thoughts together this morning. I really miss caffeine. Of course I’ve missed it since I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, too, so you know it’s been awhile. And I’m still in the plotting process for the septic tank victim. 🙂
What you have written is my truth also Kristy. What keeps our marriage going is the realisation that “To Love is to Remember”, meaning that doing things in a state of forgetfulness leads to problems and if you really love someone you do so because you are awake and remember the small details that oil the nitty gritty edges.
I know through direct experience that to love takes effort and yes there are moments of flow and harmony, but when the times that arise where there is friction, understanding and compassion are not mechanically acts, they require awareness and inner effort to go beyond ones hurt and self pity, to see reality from the others point of view.
My daughter is still very young. I cannot imagine what it will be like to see her fall in love with another. I know that I have been through a few relationships before settling down with my wife. So on the one hand I will be happy for my daughter in exploring her journey to self-discovery and I am committed to being there for her no matter how things turn out.
Thanks for the videos and this lovely post, it touched my heart.
Thank you, Edgar, both for the thoughtful comments, and letting me know the post touched you enough to make it. I think you’re right…it all boils down to remembering. But too many people don’t, and only focus on the negatives that are bound to make themselves known in a long term relationship. It’s sad, but true.
It sounds like your wife and daughter are very blessed to have you in their lives. And good luck when dating time rolls around. It would be easier if your kids could learn from your experience but they don’t. Guess they need to learn life’s lessons on their own. And all we can do is be there for them when the lessons hurt. 🙂